Plan 9 from Outer Space (1956)
Director: Ed Wood
Screenwriter: Ed Wood
Stars: Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Tom Keene, Tor Johnson, Dudley Manlove, Joanna Lee, John Breckinridge, Vampira, Bela Lugosi
Over 50 years have passed since the heyday of Edward D. Wood Jr.'s filmmaking pursuits, yet the man behind such misfires as the cross-dressing drama Glen Or Glenda and giant-rubber-octopus-starring Brides of the Monster remains Hollywood's all-time worst director. That's something to be proud of.
If Ed Wood were still alive today, we'd hope that he'd feel a ton of gratification from knowing that all of his movies hold up as endlessly hilarious works of non-art; that's not what he intended, and that's why they work. Forced camp just isn't as fun as the real thing.
Plan 9 From Outer Space is, hands down, Wood's pièce de résistance of crap. The modicum of story revolves around aliens resurrecting Earth's dead in order to halt a potentially universe-shattering nuclear weapon from discharging. But, as in any Ed Wood production, plot is meaningless, as well as idiotically presented; what's most important, and most enjoyable, are the scenes in which boom microphones are clearly visible, prop tombstones shimmy whenever characters move their feet, and Wood's chiropractor walks around with a cape over his mouth to hide the fact that he's not star Bela Lugosi, who died early into the shooting process. —MB